GUTHRIE, Okla. – The CINCH Timed Event Championship is one of the most demanding games in Western sports, and Saturday proved that.
One-time leader Erich Rogers was taken out of competition during Saturday afternoon’s third go-round, when he injured his right knee in steer wrestling. He competed in the fourth round, but only in heading and heeling – the two disciplines where he didn’t have to dismount.
But that opened the door for others who have remained steady and consistent through the first 20 runs of this year’s championship, namely Californian Jordan Ketscher. He held onto the lead through the fourth go-round, posting a cumulative time of 250.5 seconds. He has a 7.1-second lead over the No. 2 man, Cash Myers, who entered the second day of competition in the No. 1 spot.
“I just wanted to stay consistent through the day,” said Ketscher, 27, of Squaw Valley, Calif. “In the back of your mind, you want to maintain the lead, and that sends you a little nerves. But you just can’t think about it.”
Obviously, it’s working. Ketscher is competing for just the second year; he finished sixth in the average last March. He’s playing the game like a veteran; in fact, he’s leading a flock of veterans, including Myers and Trevor Brazile, the only seven-time winner of this championship who sits in third place heading into the final five rounds.
“It’s pretty incredible to watch Trevor for five rounds,” Ketscher said. “The mental side of it is pretty tough. Even though I’ve not had a big wreck, but I’m still sore. It’s 10 head a day, the toughest stock. You’re scoring, running and bulldogging, so you’ve got to get your rest.
“Now that I’m trying to maintain a level, but you’ve also got to realize what got you to this point.”
Myers understands the roller coaster that happens with the Timed Event. He fell out of the top 5 Saturday, but has returned to contention heading into the final round.
“I had good cattle tonight, and the horses did good,” said Myers of Athens, Texas. “I just tried to be solid. A couple of guys that were in it ahead of me had trouble, but I had a good steer roping steer. I had good draws tonight. My heeling steer ran, but my partner, Tyler Worley, did a good job.
“My bulldogging steer was a little stronger, but it fit be being a bulldogger.”
Now he runs into the final day of the 2018 championship with a legitimate chance to win the title.
“Whether you’re a spectator or your entered, this is an awesome event,” he said. “I’ve done terrible here, and I’ve still enjoyed it. I get to run five more here, and we’ll see how it goes.
In the Jr. Ironman, leader and reigning champion Bo Yaussi suffered a 60-second penalty in the final event of the day, steer wrestling, and dropped out of the top three. Myles Neighbors of Benton, Ark., won the second round in 42.3 seconds and holds the best cumulative time through eight runs, a 98.2, just less than five seconds ahead of the No. 2 man, Wyatt Hensen of Oakdale, Calif.
Third round: 1. Jordan Ketscher, 56.0 seconds, $3,000; 2. Trevor Brazile, 57.6, $2,000; 3. Clayton Hass, 57.9, $1,000.
Fourth round: 1. Cash Myers, 51.0 seconds, $3,000; 2. Marcus Theriot, 51.3, $2,000; 3. Clayton Hass, 55.0, $1,000.
Average leaders: 1. Jordan Ketscher, 250.5 seconds; 2. Cash Myers, 257.6; 3. Trevor Brazile, 256.2; 4. Clayton Hass, 266.6; 5. Kyle Lockett, 283.5.
Jr. Ironman second round: 1. Myles Neighbors, 42.3 seconds, $1,000; 2. Wyatt Hansen, 43.3; 3. J.D. Draper, 49.4.
Jr. Ironman average leaders: 1. Myles Neighbors, 98.2 seconds on eight runs; 2. Wyatt Hansen, 103.1; 3. J.D. Draper, 113.2.